3 February 2013
Security in America has evolved from the time of the first settlers to today’s well-trained forces. Factors leading to the significant growth of private security from pre-Civil War to post World War II consisted of a lack of public police and large monetary loss by private industry. Today, security is global and faces challenges and changes, with increases in terrorism and technology crimes. It must maintain a high level of professionalism and maintain technological innovation remain a respected industry.
History of Security in the United States
The nineteenth century saw the private security industry fill in many of the gaps left by public law enforcement in both manpower and ingenuity. The development of public police forces was slow in the infancy of the United States. In the latter half of the 1800’s, police departments were fragmented, decentralized and often corrupt, creating a need for private security. The American frontier saw an extreme shortage of law enforcement, as they had to resort to deputizing civilians and forming posses. Citizens often had to resort to vigilante justice due to a lack of law enforcement. In 1850, Henry Wells and William Fargo established American Express and Wells Fargo cargo companies and in 1851 Allen Pinkerton established the first national private security and investigations service (Ortmeirer, 2009, pg. 10). Pinkerton provided security and investigative service to the railroad, offered private detective services and was actually the intelligence arm of the Union Army during the first half of the Civil War. In 1853 August Perry patented the first burglar alarm followed by Edwin Holmes in 1858, who produced the first central station burglar alarm. That same year, Washington Perry Brinks introduced the armored carriage for the transportation of valuables and money (Ortmeirer, 2009, pg. 10).
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